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Toys R For Everybody

Toys 'R' Us adds gender identity to its non-discrimination policies

Toys "R" Us adds language to its equal opportunity employment policy prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity. It is also likely that Toys 'R' Us, a "Fortune 500 Company," will also begin offering domestic partner benefits as well as including sexual orientation and gender identity issues in their diversity training.

With this addition Toys 'R' Us becomes the 52nd company in the Fortune 500 with a non-discrimination policy that includes gender identity sending a message to its employees, and the public nationwide.

The Toys "R" Us non-discrimination policy already covered sexual orientation. An HRC press release provides additional information:

The news came following a shareholder proposal that was filed by New York City's Pension Funds and the state of New York asking the company to abide by the Equality Principles. Those principles include sexual orientation and gender identity-inclusive non-discrimination policies, "equal employee benefits" regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and inclusive diversity training. Toys "R" Us is the second company to agree to follow the Equality Principles as outlined in a shareholder resolution. Kansas-based Cerner Corp., a healthcare technology firm, agreed in March. The city of New York and its co-filers have withdrawn both resolutions.

In a letter to New York City's Office of the Comptroller, a Toys "R" Us representative asserted that the company would broaden its equal employment opportunity policy to include gender identity as a protected category. The representative also wrote, "Our policies and practices -existing and as so clarified - will encompass, in all material respects, the ten principles included in your shareholder proposal."

In June 2002, a jury found the company guilty of discrimination against three transsexual consumers who were called names and threatened with baseball bats while shopping in December 2000. The jury, however, awarded only $1 in damages to each plaintiff.

"The company now needs to ensure that every single one of their employees understands and fully abides by this new policy," noted [HRC's] Stachelberg. "While their commitment signifies a giant step forward, we look forward to more signs of the company's support for equality."

In Pride,
Deborah

 


 

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Drop a note to Deborah at gaylesissues@rslevinson.com

copyright 1986-2010 Deborah Levinson